Meet Catholic school students who pray the rosary for the unborn

Francesca Pollio   By Francesca Pollio for CNA

 

Members of Lions for Life at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Centennial, Colo. / Kira Weiland

Denver, Colo., Feb 3, 2022 / 13:21 pm (CNA).

Seventh graders CeCe and Abby start off each month by waking up early to say the rosary with their fellow classmates.

“We think it is important to be part of Lions for Life to pray for mothers who are thinking about aborting their babies,” they told CNA. “We hope our prayers will help them decide to choose life.”

They, along with more than 300 other students, attend St. Thomas More Catholic School in Centennial, Colorado, a Denver suburb. The mission of the grade school is to “bring the whole person to Jesus Christ” and “prepare students to serve the Church and community now and in the future” through a quality education. It also offers students the opportunity to take part in several groups, programs, and extracurricular activities.

One of these groups is the Lions for Life. Open to students from all grades, the prayer group meets once a month before school starts to pray the rosary for the protection of babies in the womb and for an end to abortion. Kira Weiland, a sixth and seventh grade social studies teacher, runs the group.

Weiland explained that she inherited the group in 2015 from a former teacher who started the program more than 10 years ago.

The students meet on the first Thursday of the month at 7:10 a.m., before classes begin. The students say it’s time well spent.

Jonathan, a seventh grader in the group, told CNA that “Getting up extra early to join prayer at Lions for Life is a worthy cause because we honor God with our prayers.”

Weiland expressed that this is part of what makes running the group so rewarding.

“The fact that they are willing to get up early, come in and pray for babies in the world and that they care deeply about that enough to come early. It’s really that the rewarding part —- is seeing them living out their faith,” she said.

Weiland explained how they prayed the special rosary.

“Each mystery has a specific prayer for it that has to do with praying for respect for all life,” she described. “We’ll go through and pray those specific prayers and then I have the kids lead it so it’s really their ownership of it.”

“It’s really, really sweet to watch,” Weiland said. “We’ll have the little kids and then all the big kids, and big kids lead the rosary … probably third through eighth will volunteer to lead the rosary.”

Other teachers emphasized their support for the group.

“The prayers of children through the intercession of Mary, the mother of all, are some of the most powerful weapons in the fight for the unborn,” expressed middle school teacher Katherine Abar.

With the life issue a debated topic, Weiland addressed the importance of instilling a respect for life from a young age.

“I think the earlier you start creating that love for neighbor, the longer lasting it is going to be and the more impactful they’re going to be in going out into serving the world because they’re going to say, ‘No, this is something that I know to be true from a young age,’” Weiland said.

She continued, “And when they’re little, I think they get it the most — how precious the child is because they’re children. And I think that’s the beauty of the large range of our group now is because they get to see, ‘Oh, this little kindergartener is praying the rosary. We should be excited about that and pray with them.’”

And her hopes for the future of these students as they grow up and leave St. Thomas More?

“I hope that they will continue to be faithful and that’ll be a big part of their life,” Weiland concluded. “That they will be leaders on their school campuses and that they will be ones that will stand up for things because they’re going to be bombarded with it from forever on, and so I hope that they will remember these moments in time and say, ‘No, this is truth.’”


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